Erin Merhar is a professionally trained chef, food stylist, and recipe developer. When she is not coming up with the next great dish for ThePioneerWoman.com, you can find her at the farmers' market or making pizza for friends.
The spring season brings some of the most exciting ingredients to the markets: fresh leafy greens, spring onions, sugar snap peas, and best of all—asparagus! Impressive enough to serve as a side for ham for the holidays or fast enough for a weeknight dinner, this sautéed asparagus recipe is the perfect easy vegetable side dish!
What is the best way to store asparagus?
Have you ever wondered why asparagus is displayed in a shallow bin of water at the grocery store? That's because asparagus is best stored like a bouquet of fresh flowers! Once trimmed from the ground, it stays fresher when the cut ends are submerged in about 1 inch of water, and you should definitely replicate this at home! If you're cooking any asparagus recipes the day that you purchase it, no need to refrigerate. Any longer, and it's best to store it in water, in the refrigerator, loosely covered with a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Asparagus is best cooked within three days of bringing it home.
Does asparagus need to be blanched before sautéing?
No, asparagus doesn't need to be blanched before cooking in a skillet. Once the tough ends of the asparagus have been trimmed or snapped off, asparagus is actually a very tender vegetable. So tender, in fact, that you can eat it raw, if you like! You don't need to "blanch" it (i.e., quickly boil it) before cooking. The heat of the skillet, a little bit of oil and salt, and about 10 minutes are all you need to cook tender asparagus perfectly.
What is the best season for asparagus?
Beautiful, sunny spring! Asparagus can be found in markets year-round, but nothing quite compares to Easter side dishes made with in-season asparagus come springtime. Asparagus season typically begins in late February and continues through the beginning of June. That's when they taste their best!
What are the best ways to cook and eat asparagus?
Asparagus is a great quick-fix side dish that can be prepared and eaten dozens of different ways. Keep things simple by sautéing asparagus with a bit of garlic and finishing with lemon and parmesan as seen in this recipe. Otherwise, try grilled asparagus or even bundle up bacon-wrapped asparagus. Yes, bacon really does make everything better! Asparagus also adds a nice spring touch to tasty tarts and is the star of the season's best cream of asparagus soup.
- 3 - 4 serving(s)
- Prep Time:
- 5 mins
- Total Time:
- 15 mins
bunch of asparagus (about 1 1/4 lb.)
- 1 tbsp.
- 1 tbsp.
cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp.
- 1/2 tsp.
ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp.
grated parmesan cheese, for serving
- Nutrition Information
- Per Serving (Serves 4)
- Calories107 Fat8 gSaturated fat3 gTrans fat0 gCholesterol11 mgSodium378 mgCarbohydrates4 gFiber3 gSugar3 gProtein5 gVitamin D0 mcgCalcium96 mgIron3 mgPotassium311 mg
- Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.Powered by
- Step 1Trim the woody ends from the base of the asparagus spears by cutting off the bottom 2 inches or by snapping it off with your hands.
- Step 2Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the asparagus in a single layer and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly golden and almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Cut a small piece from the end of one asparagus to see if it's near tender.)
- Step 3Reduce the heat to low. Add the butter, garlic, salt, and pepper and stir to coat the asparagus. Cook until the garlic is softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more. Immediately transfer to a serving plate.
- Step 4Just before serving, squeeze the juice from the lemon half over the asparagus and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Tip: Asparagus can be very thin or thick! For super-thin asparagus, cook about 2 minutes less than recommended. For very thick asparagus, cook about 2 minutes more.
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